Barely ex-Flyer Oates inducted to HHoF
Maybe Adam Oates ought to buy a Powerball ticket before Wednesday’s drawing.
His kind of luck is truly unheard of.
On the very afternoon the long-time Washington Capital and short-time Flyer was named head coach of the Washington Capitals, he was also announced as an inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Oates, Joe Sakic, Pavel Bure and Mats Sundin each were named to the class of 2012 on Tuesday.
All were deserving, but this does little to appease Flyers fans who feel the franchise’s greatest coach – Freddy Shero – should have been in the Hall decades ago.
Shero was again snubbed for what has now become decades.
As for Oates, who succeeds Dale Hunter in Washington, he was stunned.
“I don’t think that’s even happened before,” Oates said of daily-double combo. “I ought to go out and play Lotto.
“It’s two huge honors. Obviously, I’m very excited about the coaching job and to be called by the Hall of Fame, it’s a special, special day for us.”
A prolific scorer, Oates was a five-time All-Star who amassed 1,420 points in 1,337 games, while playing for seven NHL clubs.
He played all of 14 games for the Flyers in 2001-02 as trade deadline acquisition for goalie Max Ouellet.
No coaches, general managers or owners made the Hall as builders – only four players.
Among the inductees, only Sakic has a Stanley Cup to his distinguished career, having won two with Colorado, not to mention a Hart Trophy (2001) and Conn Smythe (1996) during his 1,378 games played. He scored 625 career goals.
Sundin, among the most visible Swedes of his generation, played 1,346 games, the bulk of which came in Toronto where he also served as captain.
“It’s a great day for myself and family,” Sakic said. “Growing up, I always dreamed of playing in the National Hockey League.
“I was very fortunate to play 20 years and plays with some incredible coaches and players. To be inducted with these three other inductees is very proud [for me] and very humbling … it’s a dream come true.”
Bure was undoubtedly the most exciting Russian scorer to visit the NHL in the early 1990s, and among the first Eastern Europeans to make a name for himself in North America.
His career spanned 12 seasons and three teams, but he will forever be known as a Vancouver Canuck.
“The Russian Rocket” had 779 points in 702 games.
“It’s a huge honor,” Bure said.E-mail Tim Panaccio at firstname.lastname@example.org